Speaking generally, the federal government has significantly improved its track record for hiring and retaining minorities over the last few decades. Even so, there are two minority classes that have lagged far behind: Hispanics and the disabled . Last summer our team released a white paper on recruiting and retaining the latter group; you can find it on TMPgovernment.com.
The low proportion of Hispanics in the government’s workforce is less widely known but equally troubling. In spite of being the nation’s fastest growing minority population, and in spite of comprising 12.7% of the U.S. civilian workforce, Hispanics make up only 7.8% of all federal employees. What’s more, Hispanic men and women represent only a scant 3.6% of individuals at federal senior pay levels—a proportion that drops to 2.5% when you take political appointees out of the calculation.
One more note in what could be a much longer litany of discouraging statistics: research by the Partnership for Public Service reveals that Hispanics attending college are more interested in working for the federal government than any other student segment they surveyed.
So how do we account for the government’s less-than-perfect track record on this metric? Our team at TMP Government is studying this issue in detail right now, and we will issue a white paper on the topic in just a few weeks. We won’t be delving as deeply into the why of this sad circumstance as into practical solutions for correcting the imbalance.
If you have been following my commentary in this blog, you may guess that our prescription for improvement will include niche branding, internships, mentoring, Web 2.0 approaches, workforce planning, career modeling, and a raft of other proven as well as emerging engagement techniques.
In the meantime, if you want to weigh in on this topic, suggest solutions, or point out Best Practice exemplars in government and out, don’t hesitate to contact me.